Saturday's closing meeting of the ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, saw a significant change to the race format for the 2004 Olympic Regatta in the interests of putting increased emphasis on the results of the final race of the series.
2004 Olympic Regatta
One of the first items on the Agenda yesterday was the President's submission 048A-03 regarding the Olympic Regatta format, which addressed the need to make the sport more understandable and to put more focus on the results of the final race at the Olympics. The President highlighted that there are few other Olympic sports, if any, where the Olympic gold medallist is determined before the final race. This situation in sailing makes the sport difficult to understand on a global basis and very difficult to promote from a media perspective. The President's submission proposed that the final race in a series must count, but otherwise proposed a similar series format, with drop races and one race on the final day.
However, the debate around the table leaned towards minimising the drop races, to put more emphasis on consistent performance throughout the series, and minimise the "risk taking" by sailors.
Speaking to the submission, renowned sailing journalist Bob FISHER commented, "The keynote in sailing is consistency. No drop races makes the sport more comprehensible. Sailors should prepare their equipment to minimise breakages."
After considerable debate, the Council decided that at the 2004 Olympic Regatta there will be no drop races in any of the events.
Staying on the 2004 Olympic Regatta, ISAF announced the International Jury, Course Representatives and Measurers who will be officiating in Athens:
Goran Petersson (SWE) - ISAF Vice-President
Jerome Pels - ISAF
David Tillett (AUS) - Chairman
Bernard Bonneau (FRA) - Vice Chairman
Eva Andersson (SWE)
Mohammed Azzoug (ALG)
Aaron Botzer (ISR)
Sally Burnett (GBR)
Charles Cook (USA)
John Doerr (GBR)
Kamen Fillyov (BUL)
Josje Hofland Dominicus (NED)
Oleg Ilyin (RUS)
Giorgio Federico Lauro (ITA)
Quanhai Li (CHN)
Pertti Lipas (FIN)
Jack Lloyd (NZL)
Marianne Orvin Middelthon (NOR)
Bill O'Hara (IRL)
Takao Otani (JPN)
George Panagiotou (GRE)
Joern Richter (GER)
Ralph Roberts (NZL)
Ana Maria Sanchez del Campo Ferrer (ESP)
Jan Stage (DEN)
Totos Theodossiou (CYP)
Eric Tulla (PUR)
Stephen Tupper (CAN)
Paul Bastard (FRA)
Annika Ekman (SWE)
Nelson Horn Ilha (BRA)
Helmut Jakobowitz (AUT)
Tony Lockett (GBR)
John Parrish (NZL)
Rafael Serrano (ESP)
Paul Ulibarri (CAN)
Jean-Pierre Marmier (SUI) - Chairman
Cliff Norbury (GBR) - Also measurer Mistral
Simon Forbes - ISAF
Santi Bastida (ESP) - 470
Francesco Ciccolo (ITA) - Yngling
John Goldsmith (AUS) - Tornado
Barry Johnson (AUS) - 49er
John Koopman (USA) - Star
Jean-Luc Michon (FRA) - Laser
Nicki Nocke (GER) - Europe
Juri Saraskin (EST) - Finn
Support was given to ISAF's objective of developing a television strategy for specific events, with focus on the Olympic Class events initially.
ISAF is the first owner of media rights for events using the Racing Rules of Sailing, but for certain events transfers the rights back to the Class or Member National Authority. With the changes to the regulations approved, ISAF may now retain these rights for specific events.
Effect of High Performance Sailing on Youth
Several submissions were on the table to introduce age ranges within certain ISAF Class Championships and the introduction of a minimum age limit at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. But with a working party already appointed to consider the effects of high performance, these submissions were deferred pending a report from the working party at the 2004 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in early June.
ISAF Match Racing World Championship
It was confirmed that the 2004 ISAF Open Match Racing World Championship will be held in Ekaterinberg, Russia. Bids from Spain for the 2005 Open Match Racing World Championship were noted.
The 2005 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship will be held in Bermuda.
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship
Last year, in order to provide some longer term guidance on youth classes, Council agreed to identify the list of classes which may be selected for use at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. 2003 saw Council amend the specification for the multihull open event, which will now be sailed with a spinnaker at the 2004 Youth Worlds. To minimise the cost to competitors, Hobie Cat Europe has offered to supply one spinnaker kit to each nation for training, whilst the International Hobie Class Association has offered to provide coaching clinics.
The entry fee for the 2004 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, which includes equipment charter, food and accommodation, was agreed at US$75 per person per day
Youth Multihull Evaluation Event
Council received an update from the Youth Multihull Evaluation Event, which took place in Quiberon, France at the end of October and noted that further negotiations with the shortlisted manufacturers regarding pricing, continuity of production and supply of equipment for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship will be conducted by March 2004, prior to a recommendation being put to Council at the 2004 Mid-Year Meeting in early June.
Provisional ISAF Recognised Status was granted to the Formula Experience Class, Hobie Dragoon Class and Nacra F18 Class.
The various technical committees of ISAF considered numerous submissions for changes to class rules and class constitutions. A full report will be made available and changes will be posted on the ISAF website.
All Classes holding ISAF status are entitled to hold one World Championship a year, with additional gender, age or disciplined defined World Championships allowed.
In the interests of maintaining the value of the title World Championship the Events Committee has amended the existing minimum boat and country participation criteria, as detailed below, which will come into effect from 1 January 2005. The average shall be taken across three consecutive events.
The Events Committee considered a proposal to add a requirement to the grading criteria for ISAF Graded Events regarding the number of judges and the number and specification of the judge boats in relation to the number of classes and number of entries. At some events, race officials have found that the equipment provided is not sufficient for them to undertake their job, such as ribs that are not suitable for the open sea or that cannot maintain the same speed as the boats racing. Council approved the proposal with a specific criteria to be developed.
The Council also supported a proposal that the appointments of International Umpires to ISAF Grade 1 Match race events be proportional to the size of the umpire team and vary depending on whether the event is Open or Women's.
Each November, ISAF considers the applications for new Race Officials and the renewal of appointments for existing officials and in total 134 officials' applications approved, as follows:
International Judge - 13 New Applications
International Judge - 37 Renewals
International Umpire - 5 New Applications
International Umpire - 26 Renewals
International Umpire - 5 New Applications
International Umpire - 26 Renewals
International Race Officer - 19 New Applications
International Race Officer - 13 Renewals
To view all ISAF Race Officials click here.
ISAF World Sailing Rankings
Responding to a submission from US Sailing to review the rankings to offer a wider spread of events that achieve top ranking points, whilst the submission itself has been deferred, the rankings criteria will be reviewed and testing undertaken, prior to a final review being made.
Racing Rules of Sailing
Council approved a proposal from the International Formula Windsurfing Class to amend RRS Appendix B to include all windsurfing disciplines from 2005 onwards, with the principle additions being freestyle and wave jumping.
RRS 16.2 - Changing Course
Whilst the Racing Rules Committee favoured the removal of RRS 16.2, otherwise known as the "Anti-Hunting Rule", the Council considered a submission to clarify the wording, which was approved amended as follows:
"In addition, when after the starting signal a port-tack
boat is keeping clear
by sailing to pass astern of a starboard-tack
boat, the starboard-tack
boat shall not change course if as a result the port-tack
boat would immediately need to change course to continue keeping clear
In total, the Racing Rules Committee considered in excess of 100 submissions to the RRS. Between now and 1 May 2004, the Racing Rules working party will finalise the changes to the RRS 2005-2008, and the new rule book will be made available to all Member National Authorities by 30 June 2004. The new edition of the RRS 2005-2008 will come into effect worldwide on 1 January 2005.
Complying with the standard World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) template which applies to all International Federations, Council reaffirmed their decision of May 2003 in approving the revised ISAF Anti-Doping Code which will come into effect from 1 January 2004.
Noting the incidents that have occurred using trapeze harnesses, Council took the position that competitors must hold increased responsibility for their safety and agreed the policy that, "The competitors shall ensure that their trapeze or hiking vest hooks must have a quick release of the hook which quickly and mechanically allows the sailor to detach the hook completely from the plate to which is is attached."
The Offshore Committees' position statement on single-handed sailing was adopted:
ISAF recognizes the importance of the contribution made by the sport of Oceanic Single-Handed Sailing; it does not have the power or the desire to prevent Oceanic Single-Handed Sailing.
ISAF believes that all yachts however manned should comply with the best standards of safety and efficiency in equipment, training and event organisation and that the organisers of all races should communicate with and encourage mutual understanding between sailors, organisers and official bodies. ISAF would continue to promote these principles.
ISAF recognises the responsibility of every yacht to comply with all relevant legislation and rules.
ISAF should never be an organising authority for a single-handed offshore sailing event.
It should be noted that the above report and that of Friday 14 November does not cover all the issues debated. Minutes of the meetings will be made available on the ISAF website in December 2003.